The only good thing to happen to me in 2013 was the birth of this website, and even then—it only became a reality because of shitty circumstances that left me no choice but to walk out on my job the month before.

When Christmas was over, I eased into Buffer Week…that seven day stretch where you finally exhale after all the holiday madness, wonder where the year went, use alcohol to silence your self-loathing about not having New Year’s Eve plans because ain’t nobody have a job this year, and think about maybe making some resolutions but not calling them resolutions because people who make resolutions are assholes.

I could see 2014 in the distance.  I was limping to the finish line.  I had less than 100 hours to go before I could bid adieu to this most shit-tacular year that literally, lit-ter-AH-lee started sucking on January 1 when we learned that our big, beautiful TV fell asleep in the Lord after the ball dropped in Times Square.  Yes…our television never awoke to broadcast the 2013 Mummer’s Parade.

And when the countdown to the end of 2013 reached double-digit hours…

ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.

Before I go any further, I want to share the description of Glitter & Bruises that I wrote three months prior to the breaking of hell.

Episodes of Actual Experience in the life of a first generation Greek-American Millennial Drag Queen trapped in a Mom’s body.

Episodes of Actual Experience.  Capitalized.

I’m fucking authentic.

So in my last blog post—the one about Christmas, HERE—I mentioned how thrilled I was to be able to stretch my Christmas dollars by getting great Black Friday deals.  Whether you are a seasoned Black Friday shopper or you prefer to stay inside and avoid the madness—there is no denying the day after Thanksgiving is an excellent day to get the most bang for your Christmas buck.

I have been asked repeatedly by friends and family to teach them how to do hardcore couponing (I got into it at the end of the Golden Age, before that TLC program ruined couponing for everyone).  My frugality is the reason I was able to stay home with Gabriel for the first four years.  My desire to live a frugal lifestyle started in 1999, after I read “The Complete Tightwad Gazette” by Amy Dacyczyn .  I was 19 years old.

I know how to manage money.  Prior to the layoff, I had more money to manage.  It’s difficult to manage less money, because there just isn’t enough to pay all the bills.  Let’s be real here—there’s only so many ways one can tighten the finances.  I wish I could say I cut out my Starbucks addiction, stopped getting my nails done, stopped trading my car in for a new one every two years, but…

I brew my own coffee.  The last time I had my nails done was for my wedding, and the time before that was the day I got engaged (and Ron had to REALLY talk me into that), and I bought my dream car, a ’99 VW Cabrio (black with a tan roof) in 2002 and it’s been paid off since 2007.  I have not had a car payment in six and a half years.

I’m cheap.  I’m not stupid.

But to the point—on that Christmas blog post, I repeated words that were said to me.  Those words were hurtful.

Here’s the thing, though:  If you say to me, “Gee, Soph…you could stand to lose a few pounds and hit your chin with a little Clearasil” and one day I sit down and write a blog post that mentions an anonymous person (you…and you know it, but no one else does) that told me I could lose a few pounds and treat the breakouts on my chin…

…why would Anonymous Person (again, you…and you know it, but no one else does) be offended by what they said?

Here’s a Public Service Announcement For The Greater Good Of Society:  Hold yourself accountable for what you say.  If you are offended by what came out of your own mouth, then you must think twice before you speak.

And good grief, another PSAFTGGOS:  Go to the source.  Confront the source.

That is not what happened after my Christmas blog post was posted.  A third party was pulled in to essentially take control of my written work.

At that moment, Glitter and Bruises went from “Episodes of Actual Experience” to “Episodes of Actual Experience That Meet Your Approval.”

Let’s get the emotions out of the way and cut to the chase:  I was censored.

And sadly…that was the final nail in the coffin.  Ron and I are separated.

You might think to yourself, “Wow…guess they weren’t really that committed to each other, if this is what ended it.”  No….we were.  We used to be.  I love my husband very much.

We somehow muddled through a broken TV;

to a miscarriage;

to a job loss;

to an adjustment in expectations when we swapped Stay At Home Parent/Working Parent roles,

to a freak car accident that was 2 inches away from killing Ron instantly;

 to a very heated and stressful summer that began with serious, serious TMJ pain on the right side of my face and ended with a heated and stressful exit from a job that I loved (and some devastating, can’t even bring myself to talk about it yet, things in between);

to a surprise reduction in unemployment weekly benefit rates;

to a cycle of job hope and disappointment;

and the big old fucking cherry on top was the happy, happy holidays that we applied the Fake It Till You Make It strategy to.

Sophia and Ron were hanging by a thread after a year of being emotionally battered by things that were out of our control.  All hell broke loose because someone did not like reading the very words that came out of their mouth.

I guess that brings me to another Public Service Announcement For The Greater Good Of Society:  Pick your battles.  You do not know the burden your unsuspecting opponent is carrying.

Happy New Year…my family is destroyed.